A Bad Moms Christmas
By Aaron Potter
Whether it’s cringe-worthy awkwardness brought on by the likes of Cheryl Hines’ overly-doting, hair-sniffing mother or revelling in the bad moms’ renewed rebellious spirit as they indulge in their drunken shoplifting antics, it’s a delight to see the girls back at it once more. The jokes might not all be crackers, but they always carry a beguiling charm.
A Bad Moms Christmas is the first of two seasonal sequels to arrive this Christmas with hopes of spreading more cheer by bringing in a new generation. As the countdown ‘til Daddy’s Home 2 continues, the Bad Moms deliver their gift early; a festive-themed romp that while not quite as funny as the 2016 original still generates a pleasing mix of well-written humour and visual gags from its “good moms gone bad” conceit, wrapped up in an unexpectedly sentimental tale.
Set shortly after the events of the first film, we check back in with Amy, Kiki, and Carla who are now refreshed and relatively unstressed following their motherly revolution. But with Christmas fast-approaching and the list of chores and challenges the season brings growing longer by day, it isn’t long before the mums are facing breaking point once again. And when their mothers – played by Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon – decide to stay, the three moms are tipped over the edge and go wild once again.
A Bad Moms Christmas never does much to hide its undeniably contrived plot, but what it so blatantly lacks in originality is more than made up for with believable chemistry between its veritable cast of characters. Whether it’s cringe-worthy awkwardness brought on by the likes of Cheryl Hines’ overly-doting, hair-sniffing mother or revelling in the bad moms’ renewed rebellious spirit as they indulge in their drunken shoplifting antics, it’s a delight to see the girls back at it once more. The jokes might not all be crackers, but they always carry a beguiling charm.
The previous film exceeded the cynical “Hangover with girls” expectations by carrying a thoughtful message that being a mum doesn’t mean having to miss out on life sentiment. The Christmas sequel finds similar success with the way it contrasts hard laughs with a soft heart, even if its exploration of mother-daughter relationships are all too forced and a little undercooked.
Harmless, heartening, but all too infrequently hilarious. The Bad Moms don’t deliver the perfect Christmas they planned nor reach the laugh-a-minute heights of the first film, but set your expectations lower, and there’s still plenty of fun to be had from watching the passionate parents as they fiendishly take Christmas back for themselves.